Tom Danielson's Foot Fix
article & images by Nick Salazar
Feb 21, 2012
Tom Danielson is most decidedly NOT a triathlete. But he can definitely ride a bike. As a member of the UCI Pro Peloton, and one of the fastest cyclists the United States has ever produced, he's a force to be reckoned with. Tom works closely with Retul fit guru Mat Steinmetz, and has recently been taking a very close look at his foot mechanics. The Garmin-Barracuda rider uses about three degrees of varus tilt in each shoe, which helps him solve a particular problem he has. He tends to ride heels-in (which is either a supination or abduction, depending on exactly what's happening). This is a problem because his heels hit the chainstays, forcing him to use wider cranks. It also turns out this was costing him some power, and making him uncomfortable.
Adding the varus tilt, and paying close attention to cleat placement allowed Steinmetz to correct Tom's foot placement, getting him to pedal with his feet parallel to the bike. As a result, Tom switched back to Rotor 3D cranks, which are quite narrow with a Q-factor of 147mm. He's also been experimenting with shorter cranks, going back and forth between his usual 175mm cranks and 170's (while moving his saddle to compensate for the effective difference in saddle height).
The rest of the bike is pretty standard fare, but gorgeous nonetheless. Tom's P4 is stock, other than the UCI-specific seatpost and the standard bottle cage in place of the P4's integrated bottle, which is UCI illegal. 3T Brezza bars form the cockpit, with SRAM RED componentry all around.
When I asked him whether he would be riding the P5 soon, Tom only smiled and replied, "I want to." No word when the team would be getting its shipment, but stay tuned.